Intro: Linksys Made-to-fit Shelf
I needed way to let the modem sit on top of your router without cooking it to death.In my case i was having service interruptions from the modem because it was overheating. Originally the modem just sat on top of the router. However after extended heavy use loads, it got too hot to touch.
Although this might have been a issue with the modem I decided not to risk the router (that I own) and at the same time see if the heat was causing my problems. The second reason was because returning the modem or waiting for Crapcast to service would take much longer than fixing it myself.
Also in case you are wondering why I didn't just move the modem to another place? I didn't have room (as you can see) and I prefer not to see an extra 6ft wire if i don't have to.
Also the materials I had on hand were very limited: A piece of clear Plexiglas ~ 1/8" thick and some Testors plastic model glue.
Ok, lets get started.
Step 1: Size 'em Legs
The first step was to determine how big the footprint of the legs would have to be. To do this I took the little rubber inserts out of the router legs and set them inside the grooves (on top of the router) where the new shelf's legs would go. They are a perfect snug fit, so that was my stencil.
Step 2: Line Out and Cut
Here i have the stenciling process outlined in pictures. you can do a bunch at a time. I recommend starting with 6 and seeing if that is high enough for your needs.
Now cut those out as best you can. you don't have to stay right on the lines, if anything stay just outside because we will "shave" them down in later steps.
Step 3: Stack and Squish
Ok so now you have ~ 24 of these little "slugs" they are not perfect but close enough.
The key here is to get 4 of these fitted into the slots on top of the router. This takes some time to sand them down and get the fit just right ** don;t make them too snug** once you have those 4 picked out and sanded to fit stack the remaining (5 per leg in my case) on top of each leg. i put a ver small dot of model glue between the layers and clamped the four legs with 1 clam each.
Again here you don;t have to be perfect in aligning the layers just good enough making sure that all the top layers overhang above the unique sanded pieces we made in the beginning of this step. If they don;t overhang then you might have gaps and valleys in the finished legs, so this is another reason not to cut them right on the line in step 3.
Once those are dry take your time and sand the top 5 layers of each stack to look like the bottom one. The end result should be something like in the 4th pic of this step. This makes a huge mess but TAKE YOUR TIME and don't just hack away.
Step 4: Make the Ledge
To make the actual shelf top I just traced the outline of the router itself by turning it upside down on the Plexiglas. Do this only once then cut it out loosely and glue it to another loosely cut section like it. You should still be able to see the line and sand down to it once the two layers are together. If you want a thicker shelf just add another layer. Again i used the modelers glue.
IMPORTANT: in order to make it look nice make sure that you cut it out outside the line then glue and then sand the glued piece down to the line you stenciled (look at pic #4). This insures that the edge is smooth and consistent, giving the appearance of one, molded piece.
Note: if your plexiglass and glue are both clear, once glued, the plastic will look like it's cracked. It's not, that's just the pattern the glue makes between the sheets of plastic. I would assume you could put a logo printout in there and it would be visible through the top if you wanted that.
Step 5: Almost There.
OK final step. Put the little legs on the router and then a tiny drop of glue on top of each one of them then slowly and accurately place the shelf top to align how you like it. I weighted mine down with some books for about an hour then took it off the router. and just set it on the table with weights on top for the rest of the night.
This procedure ensures that the shelf is a very nice fit to your router and that you will be able to use and reuse it.
Then just hook everything back up and you're in business.
For those of you wondering why not just use screws? I certainly could do that but the whole process of drilling, countersinking and finding the right screw... and making sure I don't crack the plexiglass was too much of a hassle. Plus you get a nice flat shelf with no need to fill screw holes. Whatever, do what you think will work best for you. I'm done.